DNR Announces Over $1 Million in Grants For 26 Lake and River Enhancement Projects in 26 Counties

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Morse ReservoirMore than $1 million in grants will go toward care of 26 of Indiana’s waterways this year through the DNR’s Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program, part of the DNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“Boaters make these grants possible through the Lake Enhancement Fee paid when they register their boats,” said DNR director Robert E. Carter Jr. in announcing the awards. “These funds, in turn, provide money for projects targeted to protect and enhance the very resources used in aquatic recreational pursuits, including fishing and boating.”

The 26 projects approved total $1,055,110, and were submitted by local sponsors and include the commitment of each to share a portion of the total project cost.
“The LARE grants provide crucial financial assistance to local groups in tackling natural resource issues that can be very expensive and perhaps impossible for them to address on their own,” said Jim Ray, section chief for the LARE program.
Ray added that these projects can require years of planning and diligence to complete. The grants for 2008-09 feature both biological and engineering projects, including diagnostic, design, and engineering feasibility studies, as well as construction projects. Several watershed land-treatment projects received funding to provide assistance to landowners with water-quality concerns near locally important streams. These grants complement the $1.19 million in more specifically targeted LARE grant awards that Carter announced in March to address nuisance aquatic vegetation and dredging of sediment.

Funding for the newly announced targeted projects comes from the LARE fee paid annually by boat owners to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which is a variable fee based on the value of the boat when new.

“A positive local and state economic impact occurs with access to improved water resources,” Ray said. “People are able to more fully enjoy boating, fishing and other activities, while at the same time supporting projects that enhance and improve the aquatic environment for fish and other inhabitants of Indiana’s waters.”

A list of projects by water body, county, project type and grant award follow:

 Water body (County)  Project Type  Grant Award
 Galena River (LaPorte)  Watershed Diagnostic  29,700
 Knox County Streams (Knox)  Watershed Diagnostic  34,650
 Loefler & Scott Ditches (Gibson)  Watershed Diagnostic  42,030
 Geist Reservoir (Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Madison,  Henry)  Strategic Management Plan  54,000
 Koontz Lake (Starke/Marshall)  Strategic Management Plan  52,200
 Morse Reservoir (Hamilton, Boone,
 Tipton, Clinton)
 Strategic Management Plan  47,700
 Big & Crooked Lakes (Whitley/Noble)  Engineering Feasibility  39,600
 Palestine Lake (Kosciusko)  Engineering Feasibility  36,000
 Salt Creek (Porter)  Engineering Feasibility  49,375
 West Otter Lake (Steuben)  Engineering Feasibility  18,000
 Lake Sullivan (Sullivan)  Engineering Feasibility/Dredging Plan  45,000
 Center Lake (Kosciusko)  Engineering Feasibility/Design  27,000
 Lake James (Steuben)  Engineering Feasibility/Design  50,580
 Griffy Lake (Monroe)  Design  31,500
 Blue Lake (Whitley)  Design/Construction  44,970
 Winona Lake (Kosciusko)  Design/Construction  63,375
 Dewart Lake (Kosciusko)  Construction  34,875
 Lake Gage (Steuben)  Construction  50,775
 Ball Lake Watershed (DeKalb/Steuben)  Watershed Land Treatment  20,000
 Chain O’Lakes Watershed (Noble)  Watershed Land Treatment  28,780
 Elkhart River Watershed (LaGrange)  Watershed Land Treatment  20,000
 Locust Creek Watershed (Vanderburgh)  Watershed Land Treatment  30,000
 Lost River Watershed (Orange)  Watershed Land Treatment  40,000
 Pigeon Creek Watershed (Steuben)  Watershed Land Treatment  70,000
 Ramp Creek Watershed (Putnam)  Watershed Land Treatment  20,000
 Sand Creek Watershed (Decatur/Jennings)  Watershed Land Treatment  75,000
 Total    $1,055,110